It wouldn’t be a New Year’s Eve show without some fireworks, right? With that in mind, UGD will be giving the fans the gift of heavyweights to finish off a fantastic 2016 for the organization. The Camden Centre will be giving everyone free champagne in what will surely be the worst promotional decision they’ve ever made.
**SHW Title Fight**
Taras "Kobzar" Shevchenko (19-2, 19-2 UGD) v Jacques "The Full Mountie" Rougeau (9-5, 1-0 UGD)
The main event of the evening will pit UGD’s all-time leader in victories and knockouts, Taras Shevchenko, against Canada’s Jacques Rougeau. Shevchenko also looks to finally pass Lump Beefrock with his 10th Super Heavyweight title victory and tie UGD’s all-time record with his 8th straight title defence. With devastating ground and pound and sneaky submissions, it’s no secret what the Ukrainian champion’s strategy will be. The real question is whether the young Canadian can stop him. The man they call “The Full Mountie” is coming off of a destructive uppercut KO in his debut for the organization and will be looking for a similar result in this one. Rougeau is definitely the more well-rounded of the two, with a sharp kickboxing game to go along with his decent grappling attack, but he needs to be weary of the champion’s ability to bull rush himself into takedowns.
Bronko Buster (11-5, UGD Debut) v "Dangerous" Doc Dykstra (13-3, 7-1 UGD)
We move down ever so slightly to the Heavyweight division, as Bronko Buster makes his promotional debut against one of UGD’s most successful HW’s of 2016, Doc Dykstra. The Bulgarian newcomer comes in as the now-defunct Holmgang’s final Heavyweight champion and a former GKNY Super Heavyweight contender. With an old school sprawl-and-brawl style, Buster’s knockout power and world-class boxing can provide big issues for any fighter. His American opponent, Doc Dykstra, is coming off of his first official loss for the organization in a barnburner of a title fight against Roy Palmer. With knockout power in his feet and hands combined with a willingness to slug it out, “Dangerous” Doc Dykstra is almost always a finalist for a Fight Night bonus. This one should be fun.
**HW Title Fight**
“Honey” Roy Palmer (11-3, 2-0 UGD) v Tony O Rangers (11-4-1, UGD Debut)
We’re not done yet, as our Heavyweight champion “Honey” Roy Palmer looks to defend his strap against another highly touted newcomer to UGD, Tony O Rangers. Palmer will technically be making his second title defence after the Wolf fiasco was officially reversed, coming off a fun victory over Doc Dykstra. Palmer showed some incredible resilience after getting caught with a headkick, coming back immediately with a heavy cross and allowing Dykstra to get in close and clinch, only to unleash his own dirty boxing attack. The strategy allowed Palmer to wear out his opponent until he finally broke in the second round. His opponent, Tony O Rangers, is a dangerous submission wrestler coming off a Heavyweight title victory at Budo Rei FC in Tokyo. The Boston-bred fighter can also show his opponents some technical boxing in order to keep them on their toes. I think the standup will really decide how this fight goes, as Palmer seems to have really shored up his defensive grappling in recent years.
Yuuto "Shinkansen" Yoshida (15-8, 1-1 UGD) v "The Specialist" Karl Karlsson (9-4, 3-2 UGD)
We move down one more step to Light Heavyweight, as Yuuyo Yoshida looks to rebound from a title loss against the streaking Karl Karlsson. A classic but dangerous kickboxer out of Tokyo, Yoshida looks to get back on track under his new management after getting released after the loss. Yoshida looked good in his bid for the title, going toe-to-toe with the champion before getting caught by a pair of right hands. With a KOTN bonus in his only other fight for the organization, “Shinkansen” is quickly becoming a fan favourite in London. Karl Karlsson was in a similar position for UGD very recently, starting 1-2 for the promotion while getting dropped by his management. The Swede has rebounded nicely since, however, grabbing a pair of hard-fought decision victories to get himself back in the title hunt. “The Specialist” brings a similar kickboxing style as his opponent, albeit a bit more technical. I expect a nip-and-tuck standup fight with the winner being the man who wants it more.
Kevin “Funny Man” Hart (8-1, 2-0 UGD) v Scooter Trash (9-4, 5-1 UGD)
Opening our main card will be a featured lightweight bout between two elite American strikers, as Kevin Hart takes on Scooter Trash. “Funny Man” has been all business since joining UGD, getting two dominating victories in as many contests. Showing off his brutal, punch-heavy attack from the clinch and distance, Hart has quickly risen in the ranks of UGD’s tough-as-nails Lightweight division. Consistently a challenger in his career, Scooter Trash looks to take that next step in the promotion with another victory over a tough opponent. A classic Muay Thai specialist, Mr. Trash uses heavy kicks and punches at distance, along with dangerous knees and elbows in the clinch. His style is especially effective as the fight goes on, as he wears his opponent down with punishment no matter where the fight leads. I think this fight comes down to whoever comes out faster.